The People

The population of San Sombrèro is said to be 8.6 million although this figure is approximate, as no thorough formal census has ever been conducted. To gauge family sizes, officials will often just count the number of people lounging in a doorway – and multiply by 11.

San Sombrèro's family-planning policies have helped reduce its birth rate, as did the introduction of cable TV in the mid-90s. However, teenage pregnancies continue to be a problem and in recent years people have become so promiscuous that their behaviour has actually sparked the country's second rubber boom.

San Sombrèro's most recent census reports that, officially, about 55% of its population is white, mainly of Spanish origin. About 14% is black and 23% mulattoes of mixed ethnicity. The remainder are CIA operatives.

Over the centuries each of these groups have intermingled producing a fascinating – if sometimes volatile – national identity. Remarkably, there is very little in the way of racial tension in San Sombrèro, with blacks, whites and those of mixed race all happily living, working and stealing from each other.

Eternally patient, San Sombrèrans are willing to queue of hours to be allowed into a queue that will give them access to another queue to buy a ticket for a bus that may never come and if it does will be late and going the wrong way. Of course, for them – philosophically – it's not a 'queue' – it's the start of a conga line.

The people of San Sombrèro are generally outgoing, talkative and sociable, which perhaps explains why so few have succeeded as spies.

 

So content are most San Sombrèrans that smiling is almost considered a national pastime. In fact, frowning on public holidays will attract a fine.